Archive for the ‘Moon’ Tag
As kids in the 1950s the last thing we worried about was carrying around a bottle of water. We played for hours without the need to re-hydrate, and when we did it was a quick slurp from a tap not a fancy bottle of water costing more, per gallon, than petrol. The habit of carrying around bottled water was created by marketing men out to make money not by any physiology need.
From a few long standing brands a whole host of choice has developed each vying for a niche in the market based on its exclusivity, image and its source. Fiji water has become something of a mixed blessing, it provides some income for the impoverished island but at a huge cost to the environment as its shipped across the world.
New we are told there are ‘buckets full of water’ on the moon. It was discovered when NASA crashed a space probe into the moon’s surface back in October. The idea that there was water on the moon has been around for sometime, now its been proved one wonders how long it will be be before you see a bottle of the stuff on the supermarket shelf.
At the Kennedy Space Centre in Florida you can touch a small piece of moon rock. Considering the cost of the Apollo programme this must be the most expensive substance on earth. Watching the 3D film of the moon missions and listening to the astronauts you quickly realise how significant and risky the whole adventure was, and how it could have all ended in disaster as almost happened to Apollo 13.
All this began nearly 30 years ago when Apollo 11 made the first moon landing. Considering how technology has advanced in the intervening years it make the achievement all the more amazing. Since the end of the Apollo programme space exploration has been based on probes and robots other than the international space station. Non-manned missions are less risky and less expensive. However, a robot cannot be a substitute for actually being there in person.
There are plans for more manned Moon missions, but not for many years ahead. There is also a project looking at the feasibility of a manned mission to Mars, this would be a huge step forward in space exploration as it would require the development of self sustaining life support systems as it would be very difficult to provide all the food needed for a round rip of over two years. The biggest limitation is not our ability to innovate but the cost of such a mission. It is difficult to justify such huge expenditure when there is so much that needs to be done to help many in the worlds poorer countries, but man’s fascination with the starts will always be a big driving force to escape this world.